Press Esc to close
Thursday 28 August 2014
News updated at 2:51 AM IST
Weather
Max: 24.4°C
Min : 20.1°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

Navel has bacterias similar to those found in rainforest

London, Nov 16, 2012, PTI:

 Navels harbour an ecosystem of bacteria which is similar in their biodiversity to the world’s rainforests, a new study has claimed. US researchers found 2,368 species of bacteria, 1,458 of which may be new to science, after two years of literal navel gazing.

Just eight of these species were found in more than 70 per cent of individuals sampled. However, questions remain as to what factors govern which species will be found on which people, the Daily Mail reported. “The common, abundant species are from a relatively small number of evolutionary lines, indicating that they have evolved traits that make them at home on human skin,” said Rob Dunn of North Carolina State University.

“However, we are still trying to figure out what determines which of these species are found in a given person’s belly button,” Dunn said.


“We’ve looked at sex, age, ethnicity and a number of other factors — none of them are predictive of which species live in that person,” Dunn added.

Dunn and his team swabbed more than 500 belly buttons over the past two years, but concentrate on just 60 individuals for their study published in the journal PLoS One.

The researchers launched their project in part to investigate claims over recent years that the collection of organisms on human skin forms our first line of defence against pathogens. “We know that without these microbes our immune systems won’t function properly,” Dunn said.

“In fact, this collection of microbes must have a certain composition — must form a certain microbial ecosystem — in order for our immune system to function properly,” Dunn added. The study identified 2,368 different phylotypes but only eight phylotypes - which the team dubbed ‘oligarchs’ - were found on at least 70 per cent of the study participants.

Those eight phylotypes - including varieties of Staphylococci, Corynebacteria, Actinobacteria, and Clostridiales, and Bacilli - were also among the most abundant, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the total abundance of bacteria in the samples.
Altogether, the researchers found that the average bellybutton among study participants contains 67 different phylotypes of bacteria.

“That makes the belly button a lot like rain forests,” Dunn told the National Geographic.
He explained that in any rainforest the range of flora will vary but scientists can count on a certain few dominant tree types present. “The idea that some aspects of our bodies are like a rain forest—to me it’s quite beautiful. I understand what steps to take next; I can see how that works,” he said.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Abhishek Bachchan posing next to the Pro Kabbadi League trophy in Bengaluru ...

Abhishek Bachchan posing next to the Pro Kabbadi League trophy in Bengaluru ...

Imran Khan  supporter waves national and party flags during what has been dubbed a 'freedom march ..

Imran Khan supporter waves national and party flags during what has been dubbed a 'freedom march ..

England's Ben Stokes fails to get to a catch during the second ODI against India ...

England's Ben Stokes fails to get to a catch during the second ODI against India ...

Narendra Modi in a meeting with President of Asian Development Bank, Takehiko Nakao in New Delhi ...

Narendra Modi in a meeting with President of Asian Development Bank, Takehiko Nakao in New Delhi ...

Family members mourn during cremation procession of Lance Naik Dhananjay Kumar who was killed ...

Family members mourn during cremation procession of Lance Naik Dhananjay Kumar who was killed ...

Crowd during cremation procession of Lance Naik Dhananjay Kumar who was killed in an encounter ...

Crowd during cremation procession of Lance Naik Dhananjay Kumar who was killed in an encounter ...

Britain's Deputy PM Nick Clegg during the inauguration of the United Kingdom India Business ...

Britain's Deputy PM Nick Clegg during the inauguration of the United Kingdom India Business ...

Dhoni is bowled by England's Chris Woakes during their second one-day international cricket match ..

Dhoni is bowled by England's Chris Woakes during their second one-day international cricket match ..

MS Dhoni bails fly as he is clean bowled by England's Chris Jordan ...

MS Dhoni bails fly as he is clean bowled by England's Chris Jordan ...

A Lord Ganesha idol decorated with 'Laddus at famous Moti Doongari temple in Jaipur ...

A Lord Ganesha idol decorated with 'Laddus at famous Moti Doongari temple in Jaipur ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523